350 Global Day for Climate Action
It is Saturday and not an ordinary Saturday but globally a very significant one. Thousands of people from all over the world are participating in what will go down in history as one of the most significant awareness events to date, a call for action to reduce the CO2 concentration of the atmosphere down to 350 parts per million (ppm), which currently stands at a dangerous 390ppm. If it remains at this level we are literally digging our own graves. Being committed to raising awareness amongst children, the SOS Shark Centre, an AfrOceans project, funded by SOSF, in partnership with Consider Us, a UNEP initiative, has joined forces to ensure the event’s success.
I have pneumonia and it is my 5th day in bed and though I have not stopped working from bed, I have a seroius case of ants in my pants, being confined is killing me. I saw the doctor earlier and asked if I could please attend our event and got a rather firm “No!”, but I’ve always been considered as someone who has a law unto themselves, and resist I can’t. By the time I am on the beach there are hundreds of excited children practicing the formation of the symbolic 350, which will later be captured on film by a hovering helicopter. The energy is high and incredibly positive amongst the children, many barely clad in bikinis and swimming trunks despite the cloudy weather.
After a half an hour I’m exhausted, sweating like a wrestler, and beginning to take the illness seriously. Jeremy Jowell, my great friend, is there for support and sees me safely on my way home. But despite feeling like I should have listened to the doctor, I would not have missed the event for anything – our future is in those children’s hands, they have the power to influence policy makers and drive for urgent and necessary change, and they need all the encouragement and support to do it. A big thanks to my team who worked extra hard, Terry Corr, who came up with the idea and who I recently appointed as our senior educator at the Centre, and Michael Carnegie, as well as the wonderful team of volunteers who helped us pull it off. And of course each and every one of the 600 children that participated, including our partners in the event, Consider Us, we could not have done it without you! Go to www.350.org to see photos from around the world – they are awesome!